Three homes in the 1100-block of Burdette Avenue are slated for removal and replacement under a proposed multi-unit development. Reader writes that civic duty, not a sense of neighbourhood ownership, prompted outcry against the proposal. Don Descoteau/Victoria News

Three homes in the 1100-block of Burdette Avenue are slated for removal and replacement under a proposed multi-unit development. Reader writes that civic duty, not a sense of neighbourhood ownership, prompted outcry against the proposal. Don Descoteau/Victoria News

Editorial on planning process discredits democracy

Victoria neighbours spoke up against inappropriate projects for their areas

Re: Project planning a balancing act (Our View, March 7)

We find it offensive that in your article you assume the opposition to the proposals on Burdett Avenue and 1201 Fort Street are based on a sense of “ownership.”

The neighbours of both proposals are against these oversized developments that require rezoning and numerous variances. They are not against development, but for sensitive development to improve density and maintain livability for all of us.

The 1120 Burdett Ave. project was an up-market condominium project, too big for its site, wonderfully airbrushed by a thin crust of ‘rentability’ governed by a Housing Agreement based on a hope and a prayer. The hope was that no one would read it; the prayer that if anyone did, they would not understand its implications.

The 1201 Fort St. proposal wants to replace residential zoning with dense Urban Zoning to destroy a legacy urban forest. It demands 10 massive variances to complete the birth of this Frankenstein including an increase in height of 50 per cent over the new zoning on this valued heritage corridor.

Neither proposal contained any real commitment to affordability.

And neither contained any community amenity contributions to build to the current zoning, nor any density bonuses for increased zoning.

These much-needed funds should go directly to the City to fund the greater infrastructure costs of the larger number of people.

The new Regional Housing Strategy states that building upscale condominiums is not the answer.

Rezoning and variances must not be taken for granted. They must be earned in the public forum of discussion and debate. All communities have a right and a civic duty to voice their opinions about their future.

You may want people to lay down and bury their heads to allow developers to run roughshod over us, but this is still a democracy.

Don and Anna Cal

Victoria